Rainforests house more than 50 percent of all plants and animals found on land. However, every day, we lose more than 137 species of plants and animals due to rainforest destruction, and more than half of the Earth’s rainforests have been lost due to human demand for wood and arable land. Gross, right?
LETE, a purpose-driven New Zealand-based sustainable brand producing functional and fashionable bamboo activewear, is here to change this.
“Living on the beautiful coast of Aotearoa, nature has always been a big part of our daily lives. The more we looked around us, the more we started to see the negative impacts that us humans were having on the planet – plastics washing up on the beach, shrinking coastlines, and so much waste. We thought, what if we could combine our love of moving our bodies in the great outdoors with a sustainable, environmentally-friendly clothing line? From that, LETE was born.”
Founded by Dan Wilson and Paulina Ciurzynska, LETE is the activewear brand for the consumer who wants to make impactful purchasing decisions. Sustainability, ethical production, giving back and transparency are at the core of LETE’s processes, and the beautiful, quality-made and functional women’s and men’s activewear is as stylish as it is sustainable.
LETE has full control of their supply chain, from cradle through to gate. The team has cultivated strong relationships at every stage in order to ensure their high environmental and social standards are being met.
LETE’s manufacturing partners uphold BSCI’s Code of Conduct, which essentially means that working conditions and workers’ rights are of the utmost importance. Fair Remuneration, Occupational Health and Safety, Ethical Business Behaviour, Decent Work Hours, No Child Labour and Protection of the Environment are just a few of BCSI’s 11 core labour rights, and each is adhered to at every step of LETE’s supply chain. That’s what we love to hear.
LETE’s ethical activewear is independently tested and inspected by SGS (formerly known as the Société Générale de Surveillance); is OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified; features GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified; and is entirely PETA Approved Vegan.
Bamboo, the eco-friendly material of choice for the LETE activewear, was chosen because it reflects the companys’ own commitment to sustainability. Bamboo is an extremely fast-growing and renewable resource, is moisture-wicking, is biodegradable and contains its own natural antimicrobial property.
Almost 90% of LETE’s women’s and men’s activewear is crafted from Tanboocel, an environmentally-friendly, breathable, durable and UV-resistant bamboo fabric manufactured by a Chinese company, Jigao Chemical Fibre Co. Tanboocel manufacturers are committed to closed-loop systems, meaning that no chemicals are released into the environment at any stage of the production processes.
What’s more, in order to minimise the production of new plastics – because, let’s face it, we don’t need any more of that in this world – the LETE sustainable activewear contains recycled elastane. LETE also utilises plant-based dyes, as these environmentally-friendly dyes are less harmful both to you and to our precious planet. Oh, and LETE aims to be completely polyester-free within five years
Evident in their inherent commitment to ethical and sustainable production, the LETE team is also incredibly aware of the issues facing our planet, from shrinking coastlines to microplastic pollution.
With this, LETE has partnered with HalfCut, a non-profit organisation focusing on rainforest conservation and regeneration. For every piece of activewear sold, LETE donates $2.50 to HalfCut, which goes towards buying back rainforests, not only in order to protect them but also to give them back to their traditional owners.
The LETE team not only gives back with their profits, but also with their time; they even participate in local clean up projects with various organisations.
“We wanted to make activewear that was so comfy you wouldn’t even want to take it off – as well as ensuring that every step of our production process was as ethical and sustainable as possible.”
With an obvious commitment to social and environmental responsibility in every corner of their supply chain, the LETE team – led by Dan and Paulina – has well and truly achieved what they set out to do.
Want to know where LETE sits and what they’re working on in terms of these 5 values? Hover over these values to find out.
Over half of the world’s forests have been destroyed - they’re #HalfCut. One of the best things we can do to battle the climate crisis is save our forests and replant what’s already been cut down. HalfCut helps to raise awareness and funds to do just that, and for the price of $2.50 per square metre of forest, they’re saving the Daintree Rainforest in Australia and giving it back to the Traditional Owners, the Kuku Yalanji Bama people, to manage for the long term. Not only that, but HalfCut also aims to start mass tree planting projects to ensure a better future for all of our species on this planet. For every item that we sell, $2.50 from that sale will go towards buying back rainforest. HalfCut will then match that amount, making $5, which will then be used to buy up to two acres of rainforest that we will be able to protect for its lifetime and giveback to the Traditional Owners. In 2020, HalfCut raised $348,096 and protected 139,238 square metres of the Daintree Rainforest.
We ensure that we audit once per year through the BSCI audit system. We put goals on our manufacturers to improve year on year on their audit score so that they are always improving their working conditions we have so moved them from a D pass to a Cpass our goal is to get them to an A then A+
We ensure all of our patterns are digital and only use recycled elastane in our garments, We also ensure our bamboo only come from FSC certified bamboo forest.
We give back our time in doing local clean up projects with various organisations and invest about 3% of our total profit into buying back rainforest.
We have full control of our supply chain from cradle to gate, shipping, etc we have ensured we have relationships at every stage of the process to control the process so we know where our goods come from and meet our environmental standards. We wouldnt have it any other way.
Behind the Brand
“We wanted to make activewear that was so comfy you wouldn't even want to take it off - as well as ensuring that every step of our production process was as ethical and sustainable as possible”.